Sister Benedetta Carlini
In seventeenth century Italy, Benedetta Carlini, the abbess of the Convent of the Mother of God in Italy was experiencing visions, stigmata, and claimed to have had a marriage ceremony with Christ himself. Initial church investigations determined these events to be indicative of a miracle. A second investigation uncovered that not only was Benedetta had invented all miraculous events, but, more disturbingly, she had been engaging in "immodest acts" with another nun, Sister Bartolomea Crivelli.
(BARTOLOMEA sits in one chair; BENEDETTA sits in another; they are in different rooms; one church INTERROGATOR stands between them)
what did you just say?
Benedetta persuaded me to engage in
over the past two years.
What does that mean?
Two or three times a week
she would call me to her cell,
apparently needing something.
She would grab my arm,
throw me on the bed.
She would kiss me and get on top of me,
like a man would,
tell me she loved me as moved against me,
until we both
I never did any such thing.
Sometimes doing this for
two, three, four hours...
I fail to understand
you would submit to this
over and over for years.
You must have known you were
transgressing against God's commandments.
I asked Benedetta about that.
She said we weren't sinning at all.
That she was being possessed by
the Angel Splenditello.
Splenditello did these things to me.
He spoke through her,
said the loveliest things to me,
made me fall in love with him.
She had no idea what was going on.
I have no recollection of ever doing anything with Bartolomea.
Sometimes Christ Himself would speak through her.
That He wanted me to be His bride.
That He could not wait until death to have me,
that He could not resist the touch of my skin,
the smell of my hair,
that nothing He wanted was a sin.
He could purify the flesh
even in the most corrupting of acts.
I have never touched Bartolomea.
She has said that an Angel named Splenditello
worked through her.
Then it was Splenditello and not myself.
I have no memory of doing any such thing with Bartolomea.
Benedetta grabbed my hand and put my fingers
Or she put her own fingers into me,
or into herself,
and together we would move
until we corrupted ourselves.
I am a servant and bride of Christ.
My body is His to do what He wishes.
Whatever He chooses to do with it,
it is Good and Clean and Sinless.
She would kiss my genitals by force,
kiss my breasts by force,
and have me kiss her breasts and genitals
always by force.
After we would take communion
Why did you believe that Splenditello was an angel
and not a demon?
You had already deemed Benedetta a visionary,
her stigmata signs of divine presence,
herself nearly a saint.
You forced me
to believe he was an angel.
And now why come forward?
You have decided that she's been lying.
That she's a fake.
It was horrifying to me,
as I believed in her.
She is my abbess.
She was my world, my spiritual guide,
my motherly love.
I had no one but her.
Now she's a sham.
It has forced me to question what has happened,
and to come to you willingly and honestly,
in the hopes that you will be merciful to me,
and God will forgive me.
I knew not what was happening.
And it was all by force.
I assure you.
I have no recollection.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Splenditello said he was melting for love for me.
He promised to be my beloved,
took my hand and swore to be mine.
I was weak,
and my weakness allowed Benedetta
to deceive me,
and take me by force.
I have no knowledge of these events.
How could you not know what was going on?
It was an angel and the work of our Lord.
If I remembered these events,
I would die of shame and loathing.
The Lord is protecting me.
I'm sorry I cannot prove an empty memory.
Did you ever feel love for Benedetta?
Everything that happened,
was done by force.
I can't recall
END OF SCENE